Tag Archives: travellers

One Final Night in Europe

Thanks to our friend Andrew Z. from Displays of Emotions! He has sent in a story on his bizarre yet exciting adventure across Europe, but he knows nothing can compare to his one and only home – Sydney. Yes, even as men, we should express our feelings in an unreserved manner.

WordPress: https://displaysofemotion.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisplaysOfEmotion

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A photo of Andrew and his mates under the Eiffel Tower.

When we got off the train, the air was soothing, more like spring than summer. The station was modern and bustling, but nothing stood out as familiar as of yet. The light was a muddled sheer golden with the looming clouds intruding the rays of sun. We stepped outside the train station to hail a taxi. Even in the fissures of sunlight, the architecture that lined the streets popped into gleaming sculptural shapes of grandeur. “Welcome,” we told ourselves in pure disbelief “to the city of lights and romance ­– Paris.”

We had come to Paris, with the sun slowly setting in an economy-class Eurostar train that travelled at speeds that were dizzying at ground-level. That was at the end of a week stay in London, where a girl I had met stole my heart – whose [inner] beauty is unlike any other – and lingered in my every thought. Not only did Europe have me under its whimsical charm, but so did this breathtaking girl whom I was missing. As Martin Buber says “all journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware”; she was my unsuspecting destination. A destination that shone brighter than all the cities we visited across Europe.

Finally we hailed a taxi. The stereotypes of aggressive European drivers are true for the most part. The driver whizzed through the disorganised chaos of traffic, gesturing rudely at other drivers every few moment, whether right or wrong. As we clung onto dear life, the city grew into life. Everything was soft, the cobblestones in the street shone like stain, the edges of the aging architecture were rounded and worn, the lamplights aged and almost romantic. There was no immediate correlation to Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, but nonetheless the beauty of Paris was something of its own.

On our first full day in Paris, the sky was a deep, cloudless blue. But in spite of the flawless weather, our bodies were weak…products of the extreme partying across Europe. Despite this, we fit in every French activity that was possible to cram into a single full day. We consumed delicate escargots to flavoursome macaroons. Walked and shopped the Champs-Élysées under the summer sun. Climbed the Arc de Triomphe, where the view encompasses all of Paris, the skyline littered with famous landmarks: the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre Pyramid. The orange tinge of a concluding day nestled behind the elegance of the Eiffel Tower, as we lay sprawled on the grass staring in bliss.

It seemed impossible to us, that we could have ever felt such happiness in a place so foreign to us all. When reminiscing the events of the past month beneath Paris’ most iconic structure [and celebrating our friends birthday], it was to the equally joyful sounds of our laughter. On our last morning, we were enwrapped in love: with Paris, with Europe, with my small travelling family and with our adventure. As I sipped my last Parisian coffee in the allure of the city before boarding a train to the airport, I thought about everything I’d be missing once we leave Europe. I knew I’d be back soon, but there was something I missed more than Europe. A revered place where the sun always shines, the ocean breeze flows, the birds tweet and chirp, the city lights dance upon the harbour water, passer-by’s nod and smile. “Home”, I smiled to myself.


Time Lapse Sydney

Whenever someone talks about Sydney, the word ‘beautiful’ always goes in the same sentence. It is not just the tourists who said that, even CNN and the Cosmopolitan Magazine did the same thing.

Still not convinced? Here are several amazing time-lapse videos submitted by Youtubers, showing the beauty of Sydney from day to night.

This video from World Travel Cruise is mainly taken at Sydney CBD, where you will see the city’s skyline from various angles. If you have had enough of daytime CBD, you can start watching the video from 2:20. How can you not appreciate the sunset when you look at all these colours in the sky?

In last blog post I have walked you through the nudist beach at La Perouse, so let’s watch this video produced by WildScene Photography and discover the other parts of this lovely suburb.

I know not all of you have completely #CatchUpWithSydney, so why not take a look at this time-lapse video taken at Sydney Airport? For one second, maybe you can imagine yourself flying on that plane and going to somewhere else.

A bit of German in Sydney – Aussie Oktoberfest

Without a doubt, Aussie travellers are well-known as some of the biggest drinkers abroad. When you are travelling overseas, it is not surprising to find a bunch of Aussies downing many jars of beers at a German pub, or drinking cocktails from a large bucket on the Greek Islands. Indeed, alcohol is an universal language that is even more widely understood than English. Therefore, even though Munich is more than 10,000 miles away from Sydney, there is no stopping for the Aussies to celebrate the Oktoberfest, especially when it is a festival that encourages participants to drink as much German beers as they want. They have appropriated the festivities into an Australian context, so now you can drink like ze Germans!

Celebrating Oktoberfest at the Bavarian Bier Café is a no-brainer. As one of the premier German-themed restaurant chains in Sydney, the restaurant will organise a range of activities throughout October in order to celebrate the festival, such as Stein Hoist & Hold Challenge on Wednesdays and Stein Race on Thursday, in which the winner will get a $50 bar tab. Apart from that, discounts on German beers and pork knuckles will also be promoted during the whole month. Get ready to indulge yourself with some great German delicacies, and some quality booze, whether it is blonde or dark.

For more information, you can visit this website: http://oktoberfest.com.au/events/

After the successful cruise party hosted by Sollarium Entertainment from last year, they have decided to throw the party at the prestigious club Ivy for this year’s Oktoberfest on 15th October! Co-organised by several student associates of the main universities in Sydney, it will be one of the largest student parties of the year. You may not be able to see weird-looking water slides or crazy roller coaster rides at the party, but please do expect loads of cheap booze and bouncing beats blasting for the entire night. And of course, get prepared to be surrounded by lots of sex hormones.

Event page: http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/oktoberfest-2014/72422

Yes, this is what you will see at UNSW Oktoberfest. While the party was cancelled last year, the student association ARC has decided to make a comeback at the Roundhouse, and the celebrations are extended to four days from 13th to 16th October. Apart from enjoying Wiener schnitzels and Frankfurt sausages, Hot Dub Time Machine will also make his appearance on the last day of the event and he will play tunes from the last 50 years. And the good news is, both ARC members and UNSW students will enjoy a discount on the entry fee!

Event page: http://www.unswroundhouse.com/event.aspx?id=267


Naked Sydney

As a Sydney-sider, we are no stranger to sunshine and beaches, even the tourists know that. With summer just around the corner, it is time to dig out the dusted swimming suits from the closet, get a bottle of sunscreen from the chemist, put on your sunnies, go out there and enjoy the beautiful coastlines offered by Sydney.

We all love sunbathing, but sometimes tan lines are just annoying. We are young and we want to release all the inner energy inside… So why not express yourself at one of those finest nudist beaches in Sydney, because there is no better way to form a positive connection with the nature other than showing off what you have to offer.


For those who are living in the Eastern Suburbs, this is Little Congwong Beach at La Perouse. While the district is easily accessible by car and public transport from the city centre, visitors might have to walk a little further and go through the bushes in order to find out this hidden location, where everyone is rolling on the sand or walking around freely without any clothing. If you are lucky enough, you may even find an ice cream boat! Please note that this is not a dedicated nudist beach by law, but like what they said, two wrongs could make one right.



Here is our North Shore representative, Obelisk Beach. Unlike Little Congwong Beach, it is actually legal to be naked at Obelisk Beach and it is also considered one of the ‘gay-and-lesbian-friendly’ beaches in Sydney. While the beach might be relatively small compared to other beaches you could find in the city, here you can enjoy the picturesque view across Camp Cove and Watsons Bay. Just a quick tip for all the wanderlusts, as there are no shops nearby, it is always nice to bring a bottle of water and pack your own sandwiches, now you can enjoy a delightful picnic with your mates!

5 Alternative Ways to #CatchUpWithSydney

Sydney wanderlusts, it has been a few weeks, so how did you all hold up after the long holidays? Still feeling awful?

Through out the last few weeks, we acted as tour guides and showed you some of the interesting locations in the city to explore. Apart from our Catch Up With Sydney’s #1 rule of being a tourist at home, are you wondering what else you can do to deal with the trauma of post-travel blues? Here are some tips to help you ease your mind:

#1 Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.

Exercise at least three times a week. Remember the time when your high school PE teacher stressed the importance of performing some sort of physical activities? He did not just say this out of nowhere because research shows that “happy hormones” endorphins are produced during the process, which eventually gives off a feeling of happiness. So take some time out after work, it’s time to get your joggers on!

#2 Talk to a random stranger


You have lived in this travelling bubble and met some of the friendliest and open-minded people at different hostels and bars, and then you just realise you have been thrown right back to this city where no one even bothers to give you a smile. But why not spread a bit of your love to the surroundings and talk to the girl sitting next to you on the bus? A greeting as simple as “how are you today” could already make someone’s day.

#3 Join a conversation group 

One thing I definitely missed about travelling or living abroad is that I got the chance to learn and speak a new language, so joining a local conversation group is definitely a way to keep your foreign tongue rolling. Both universities and independent associations have organised language activities, so that you can get paired up with a native speaker and start catching up on your French, German, or whatever language you are currently picking up!

Websites for language exchange: www.mylanguageexchange.com/www.conversationexchange.com/

#4 Search for your favourite food from the trip

We all know everyone loves good food, so what is better than getting your favourite food to cheer yourself up? In a food paradise like Sydney, the city has all kinds of cuisines covered, from Italian to Mexican.

#5 Appreciate your surroundings

Sometimes we just forget how fortunate we actually are. While going to an overseas adventure is definitely an amazing experience, we can also think about the things we miss about home. Just like having your family around, lying on a comfy bed and finally being able to get back to the gym. Isn’t it great to be home?

So Berlin-like: Street Art in Newtown

Sydney wanderlusts, let me start this blog post by asking two questions:

1. Can you name three street art capitals of the world? You will probably say Berlin, London, and our Aussie representative Melbourne right?

2. What comes up on your mind when it comes to Sydney? Without a doubt, even for a Sydneysider who has resided in the city for a long period of time, you will just instantly think about the famous postcard attractions – Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Harbour Bridge, and the list goes on.

Apparently, the connection between street art and Sydney is minimal, especially when the city council has a notorious reputation for blindly removing the creative work on the streets. However, if you go a little further West in Newtown, you will find some of the most colourful hidden gems in the city. You might even get a deja vu feeling as you stroll around the back alleys and look at the graffiti on the walls, which easily covers a multi-storey building. Indeed, the street art scene in this suburb is just as vibrant as its European counterparts. Some of the well-known artists, such as Fintan Magee and Jason Moses, have also contributed their work in this part of Sydney.

Most of the artwork is concentrated in the following areas of Newtown:

  • Kings Street
  • Enmore North
  • Trafalgar Street
  • Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

“I have a dream” mural is one of the most famous artwork on Kings Street, created by Andrew Aiken and Juilee Pryor in 1991, which has used the slogan from Martin Luther King Jr to advocate for Aboriginal civil rights. Although it is illegally painted by the two artists, it is one of the few artwork that has been preserved by the city council.

A paste-up found at Whateley Lane near Kings Street, a politically proactive parody artwork of the Australian PM Tony Abbott.

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The “Africa” mural painted in the 1990s, near Newtown Mission.

Apart from its unique artwork, you will also find a range of vintage shops, small cafes, hip bars and antique shops in Newtown. Along with the various cultural happenings around the area, that pretty much sums up the definition of a hipster’s heaven.

To see more artwork in Newtown, you can visit this website: http://www.newtownprecinct.com.au/street-lifestreet-art



Coping with post-holiday blues: maintaining wanderlust


What makes up the post-travel blues? (source: http://www.getawaybrigade.com/)

The struggle is real. Getting a bombardment of never-ending list of work tasks and catching up on the messages you have missed during your dream holiday, all you could do is looking out the window and dreaming about the next travelling destination. You might have enjoyed the luxury of eating exotic dishes and visiting different places, but your friends start to get annoyed when you whine about the frustration of being stuck at home after your overseas experience. No one understands you, and you feel like a stranger at home. The only thing you are able to do is to hide your feelings in your heart, and it simply sucks.

The great news is you are not a psycho. It’s confirmed that post-holiday blues is a mental symptom that has been experienced by travellers after spending a substantial amount of time abroad. This claim is supported by a tourism research study conducted in the Netherlands, as it shows that the level of happiness will drop significantly after the holiday. Don’t panic, it is completely normal to experience these feelings after returning home.


Another great news is that this problem can be solved by being a traveller at home so that you can #CatchUpWithSydney. Rose Mulready, a famous editor from Lonely Planet, suggests that one of the best ways is to maintain wanderlust at home because the whole city is your backyard. Even if you have lived in Sydney for your entire life, there are still so many places out there for you to explore. Try to spot a Paris-style cafe, or get a big breakfast at a traditional English pub, because adopting your overseas mentality into daily routines can also make the city adventure more interesting and exciting. You will be amazed at how many fantastic locations you can easily reach within an hour or two.

As simple as that, you can keep your curiosity alive and be a proud Sydneysider once again. Phew.